Asystolic Seizures

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Kowalik A, Bauer J, and Elger CE (1998) [asystolic seizures]. Nervenarzt 69:2 151–7.

Link to Article

Abstract: Epileptic seizures may alter autonomic functions. This is especially the case with complex focal seizures (of temporal lobe origin) and grand mal. Most frequently, such seizures cause ictal tachycardia, sometimes tachypnea, probably caused by the propagation of epileptic discharges to autonomic cerebral structures. Ictal bradycardia and asystole are rare phenomena. However, they may be life threatening. Their differentiation from primary cardiac arrest is possible by the use of ictal EEG and ECG registration. Postictal serum prolactin measurement does not differentiate syncope from seizure. However, a postictal increase of creatine kinase is only measured after epileptic seizures and not after syncope. Treatment of such epileptic seizures includes an optimization of anticonvulsant drug therapy and the implantation of a cardiac demand stimulator. There is growing evidence that ictal asystole is a cofactor in sudden unexplained death in epileptic patients.

Keywords: Complex partial seizure, Asystole, Convulsive syncope, Sudden unexpected death



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